Introduction to Sociology
SOCI 101 - SUNY Morrisville
Professor Kurt Reymer
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2PRs (Two-Page Reports)


Writing exercises on sociological topics will be assigned during the course. The assignment guidelines are designed to enhance research and writing skills and show your understanding of the themes of sociology that we are covering in the course. They will be graded on a 20-point basis. See the “Late Paper” policy section below regarding late submissions.


OPTIONAL Two-Page Report #3: Global Stories

Go to this webpage and watch the video featuring Chimananda Adiche’s talk titled "The Danger of a Single Story."
Then follow Steps 2 and 3 on the webpage and submit your report. Note the grading rubric located at the bottom of the webpage and below.

Your paper should be no more than two-pages in length (approximately 500 words), double-spaced, 1-inch margins, standard font, and in paragraph form (not just a bullet list response, e.g.).

You should:
(1) save your work as a PDF file (for MS Word use the "Save as..." feature; for Google Docs, "Download as..."), with the
(2) filename starting with your LAST NAME-2PR3, then
(3) attach the PDF file to me in an email (reymers@morrisville.edu) with the subject line reading 2PR3.

Submission Guidelines: Your paper should be no more than two pages in length (approximately 500-700 words), double-spaced, 1-inch margins, standard font, and in paragraph form (not just a bullet list response). Include in your header for the paper your full name, class, date and professor's name. The header should take no more than 4 lines of space (do not double-space). Title your paper based on the main idea being communicated.

This assignment is OPTIONAL. If submitted, it will replace another 2PR assignment with a lower grade.

2PR3 is due end of day Monday, May 2.

 

Grading Rubric:

Criteria High Quality Proficient Approaching Proficiency Not Proficient Points
Video summary Describes Adiche’s experience using multiple examples and a thorough examination of socialization. Describes Adiche’s experience including several general examples and a general link to socialization. Describe’s Adiche’s experience to include vague examples and weak link to socialization. Summary of Adiche’s talk does not include examples and/or does not include a link to socialization. ___/4
Narrative Narrative includes a clear, detailed account of the person’s experience (using a pseudonym) with direct quotes from interviewee OR auto-ethnographical account of single stories. Narrative generally summarizes a person’s experience with stereotypes and single stories without direct quotes and/or specific examples. Narrative provides vague or unclear examples of single stories. Narrative does not provide examples of single stories. ___/6
Reflection Reflective paragraph that interrogates how single stories/ stereotypes are learned using the interactionist perspective. Reflective paragraph that makes some connections between learning and stereotypes but without a clear theoretical explanation. Reflective paragraph does not demonstrate proficiency in examining the connection between learning and stereotypes. Reflective paragraph does not include any examples of learning nor any theoretical examination. ___/6
Writing College-level writing grammar (spelling, punctuation, syntax, etc.) with 0-1 errors. College-level writing with 2-3 grammatical errors. College-level writing with 3-4 grammatical errors. College-level writing with 5+ grammatical errors. ___/4
Total: ___/20

 


Two-Page Report #2: Breaching Experiments: Socialization, Groups, and Conformity to Norms

Due Thursday March 31st (end of day)

In part two of the course, we have delved into the process by which we, ourselves, are a product of our society (through processes such as status and role socialization and group conformity), but we are also possessed of free-will to go against the social norms and folkways that shape our social existence. This assignment asks you to discover and explain this tension between free-will and the conformity induced by group behavior by doing a "breaching experiment." In a "breaching experiment," one breaches the defined norms of a situation to see how people react. Messing with the common, normal definition of a situation you can see, in real time, how people react. In the classic elevator experiment we saw in class, sociologist Harold Garfinkel asked his students to go into an elevator and face BACKWARDS (the back wall, not the door) to see how other people (the experimental subjects) react to this abnormal behavior. The strength of the reaction Garfinkel hypothesized, should match the strength of the norm being breached. Humor is a common reaction to breaches of norms; it is one of the first "safety valves" we use when confronted with abnormal behavior -- "isn't that funny?" Emotional reactions are also common, such as digust, confusion, and even aggression. In almost every case, when others do not conform to established norms of behavior, it almost always provokes a reaction.

STEP 1: Your goal in the paper is to come up with a "breaching experiment" of your own. It should be like the elevator experiment, but one of your own design (walking up stairs backwards, asking for someone's seat on an empty bus, putting your hand out for a handshake and quickly removing it when someone responds, or something else like that). Try to find an "innocent victim," not a friend or colleague who you may already know. IMPORTANT: You may NOT breach any LAWS in your breaching experiment! You should choose "folkways" (everyday conventions) as the norm being breached in your experiment.

STEP 2: In two pages (about 500 words), describe your experiment and the reactions to it. Reflect upon the following questions: What was the norm you challenged? What was the response from those observing your unusual behavior? Variably, why is laughter often a response? What does the response say about the strength of the norm you breached? How are we socialized into certain socially constructed expectations on our behavior? What role does group conformity play in the process of playing social roles?

You should:
(1) save your work as a PDF file (for MS Word use the "Save as..." feature; for Google Docs, "Download as..."), with the
(2) filename starting with your LAST NAME-2PR2, then
(3) attach the PDF file to me in an email (reymers@morrisville.edu) with the subject line reading 2PR2.

Submission Guidelines: Your paper should be no more than two pages in length (approximately 500-700 words), double-spaced, 1-inch margins, standard font, and in paragraph form (not just a bullet list response). Include in your header for the paper your full name, class, date and professor's name. The header should take no more than 4 lines of space (do not double-space). Title your paper based on the main idea being communicated.

Due Thursday March 31 (end of day)

 

 

 


 

Two-Page Report #1: Connecting Norms, Roles, and Institutions using the S.O.C.I. Concept

Due Monday February 21st (end of day)

In part one of the course, we are learning what social institutions are -- "the purposeful organization of people into groups and organizations." Universal types of social institutions (that exist in every society, whether small, remote and simple or large, global, and advanced) include Family, Religion, the Economy, Education, and Politics (remember "FREEP").

Other social institutions particularly relevant in American society today might be Sports, Media, Science, or Justice. Remember that "institutions", from a sociological perspective, are abstract concepts -- the term describes the totality of the concrete physical manifestations of them. Abstract concepts are "large ideas" which can be narrowed more and more until you reach the level of real-life. For example, if we are talking about the institution of "Media," we could narrow that to social media, then again to a specific social media provider, like SnapChat, then again to the individual users of that network. Or we could narrow it to entertainment media, focus on streaming services, then examine how people are using them (creating new norms like "binging," and "chilling").

Or, when talking about the social institution of Sports, for example, we are talking about the totality of all the teams, types, and locations that integrate this meaningful construct into our lives -- from high school football, to professional tennis, from Yankee Stadium (baseball) to Mount Everest (mountain climbing) to professional golf.

An example in the institutions of American justice (as organized through government) include the physical places (like courts, jails and prisons), the social statuses (like police or judge), and the behaviors, some of which are being debated today, such as stop-and-frisk practices, chokeholds, or jail-cell "suicides." The institution of "Government" correlates ALL of these places, ideas, and behaviors.

So, as you write your paper, I want you to talk about institutions from the abstract Sociological Perspective using the sociological imagination, and you should connect it to the concrete personal perspective of your lived experience regarding the norms you follow and the roles you hjave played in your life.

Here's your task for your first two-page report:

For this Two-Page Report, recall both the S.O.C.I. mnemonic (see Powerpoint notes if needed) and the question I asked you in week 2 about your identity and who you are.

Using identity as a reference, advance your Self-teaching through analysis of the ideas, values, attitudes, opinions and norms that Occupy your mind (your “normative framework,” or ideas, etc. related to that thing) with respect to this thing and how you Copy those ideas in your own words and actions (your “role performances,” or behaviors related to that thing). Where and/or who did your ideas about the thing you love doing most come from?  What institutions are involved in the thing you love doing most? How does this thing you love doing most intersect with your Identity, that sense of wholeness in yourself? And finally, using your sociological imagination connect what you love doing most to the larger society – what institutions are necessary for that thing to exist and do communities develop around that thing?

Write using the language of sociology (refer to norms, roles, institutions, etc. in your writing).

Submission Guidelines: Your paper should be no more than two pages in length (approximately 500-700 words), double-spaced, 1-inch margins, standard font, and in paragraph form (not just a bullet list response). Include in your header for the paper your full name, class, date and professor's name. The header should take no more than 4 lines of space (do not double-space). Title your paper based on the main idea being communicated.

IMPORTANT: You should:
(1) save your work as a PDF file (for MS Word use the "Save as..." feature; for Google Docs, "Download as..."), with the
(2) filename starting with your LAST NAME-2PR1, then
(3) attach the PDF file to me in an email (reymers@morrisville.edu) with the subject line reading 2PR1.

Due Monday February 21st (end of day)


GRADING RUBRIC:

I will be using the following rubric to grade your paper:
(A) Has the student provided a clear, defined understanding of the language of sociology (terms like norms, roles, institutions)?
(B) Has the student provided a clear example of institutional influence on the individual?
(C) Has the student provided a clear example of independent behavior of the individual?
(D) Has the student discussed in the abstract the interconnections between self and society?
(E) Has the student followed the submission guidelines, including paper format and deadline?


SAMPLE PAPER:
This is an example of a "C" paper. It's a bit too short, there are grammatical and spelling errors, and the author could stand
to discuss at greater length the link between their own life and the history of their society with respect to the institution of
sports.

____________________________________________

NAME  REMOVED                                                                                                      SOCI 101
2-Page Report #1: SOCI                                                                                 Professor Reymers

The very first thing I encountered during my two semesters taking sociology is the famous mnemonic known as S.O.C.I.

The mnemonic is a memory acronym in which each letter represents a significant aspect to society.The “S” in the acronym

stands for Self awareness that can only be achieved through deep self evaluation , self evaluation is a part of society because

it allows the members of society to become aware of their actions and its consequences . As an active member of society I use

self awareness to guide me through different social institutions such as school(Education)or the workplace(Economics).

 

I have many things in my life that I enjoy participating in , but one thing that I hold near and dear to my heart is my love for the

game of football. Unfortunately due to my lack of motivation for school during my freshman year I cannot play any sports until

my grades improve. This causes me to think about football every waking minute of the day and even when I go to sleep I still

dream about the game. This leads to the “O” within the acronym which accounts for the occupation of the ideas within the mind.

 

In order for these ideas to grow I relied on the social institution known as family . The “C” in the acronym means the copying in

your own words and actions of those actions ideas and values. Which means you must accept what society provides to you and

then you must apply it to your own life in order to find out where you belong in society

 

As a society we subconsciously created a set of unspoken rules or better known as social norms. These “rules” are what drives

and guides a society on a day-to-day basis, whether people choose to follow these “rules” helps them better find their identity. The

“I” in the acronym stands for your identity which is who you decide to be as a member of society . My identity as of right now is

a college student trying to prosper .  The institution of education is important to me and I know it weill let me do things that I couldn’t

do without it.